Quick and Dirty Das Keyboard (Blank Keyboard)

Introduction: Quick and Dirty Das Keyboard (Blank Keyboard)

About: Engineer

A Das Keyboard is the name of the most popular keyboard with no inscriptions on the keys (blank keyboard). The Das Keyboard retails for $89.95. This instructable will guide you though making one yourself with any old keyboard you have lying around. The process takes roughly 20 minutes to complete depending on how nice you want the end product to look.

The method chosen to use to remove the labels was with a Dremel and a grinding disc attachment. It may be possible to paint over the keys giving a smoother look, but this is messier and the keyboard will be out of action while drying..

There are two steps in this instructable:
1. sanding/grinding the lettering from the keys.
2. fine sanding/polishing the keyboard to make it more presentable

Step 1: Grinding the Lettering From the Keys.

A ball grinding head was chosen, ideally a larger ball than seen in the pictures should be used as a smaller head leaves more of an indent in the keys.

With the Dremel, grind all the desired lettering. In this step we are not concerned about the looks, but only that all the lettering is removed. However, don't grind more than needed as noticeable indents will be created.

Step 2: Finishing the Keyboard

Give the keyboard a quick clean with compressed air to remove all the debris. An obvious pattern will emerge on the keys, which is rough patches on the keys where the letters existed. This can be left as is giving a more 'ghetto' look and requiring no further work. However, it was chosen to further clean the keys up.

To give the keys a more even look, simply grind lightly over the entire key. This will produce an even rough look to the keyboard. A soft sanding block was then used to further clean the keys.

If desired the keys could be further polished with finer grade sandpaper and then a soft polishing wheel. But I didn’t bother.

Step 3: Final Close-up of the Keyboard.

Final picture shows a close-up of the keys. Yes, it is fairly unattractive looking, but that's a small price to pay for having such a cool looking keyboard.

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    48 Discussions

    I should have done this. I actually bought a Das Keyboard for myself. I'm already a very fast typist, so I don't know if I've improved at all from using it - maybe I have - can't say. At any rate, their claim of "specially weighted keys" is completely bogus I think. It is an ordinary keyboard with the letters removed. It looks cool and have received some stunned reactions and subsequent awe from fellow co-workers who happen to notice it, but aside from that it's pretty ordinary. The touch of the keyboard is nice though, very clickety with no resistence.

    1 reply

    Actually what makes a das keyboard great is the weighted keys. It makes pointer finger keys harder to push and pinkey finger keys easier. This actually prevents carpel tunnel, eliminating the need for a shitty natural keyboard.

    1 reply

    The reason the Das is much more expensive is because it uses mechanical switches. This doesn't really solve that problem, so you may want to discard the misleading "Das Keyboard" in title and just leave it at blank keyboard.

    Agreed, it's (too) expensive. but the das keyboard is a great quality keyboard, extremely nice to type on. It's not just the blank keys that make it worth the price.

    Couldn't you instead just (on a black keyboard) color in all the white symbols/letters/numbers with black sharpie?

    1 reply

    I popped out all my keys and re-arranged them into the Dvorak keyboard, however I never had the time to learn it, so I type with the QWERTY layout, on a Dvorak keyboard :P (You can pop them out using a screwdriver as a lever, careful, they go flying!)

    4 replies

    Heh... someone did that to someone @ my school: they couldn't touch-type, so they switched 2 letters... His name was Jay, you guess the 2 letters ;-)

    i lol'd

    my friends like to take the keys from several keyboards if they need more than one of a key, and then arrange them on a keyboard to say 'you smell' or similar.

    I don't look at the keyboard much. I never got over using 2 fingers though. A blank keyboard would still be cool though. What's this "home row" thing, i never got that.

    1 reply

    your homerow for your left hand is
    index - f
    middle - d
    ring - s
    pinky - a
    and for your right hand homerow is
    index - j
    middle - k
    ring - l
    pinky - ;
    your thumbs rest on the space bar, and the idea is that your fingers remain on the homerow, each finger reaches out to the button it needs to press and then returns to its homerow key. is very difficult to learn, but extremely efficient once you've got it. best way to learn touchtyping.

    It would be fun to have/make one of these, but if you don't have the time, I recommend just swapping all of the letters around. That way looking won't help at all. In fact, I bet it messes you up more than just having blank keys! Great instructable!

    I painted an old Apple keyboard I had to get the same effect. (The lettering on Apple Keyboards doesn't sand off.)

    IMG_0951.JPG

    I tried your method, but sanding off the labels turned out to be a pain in the you-know-what (I haven't got a dremel), and the result looked terrible anyway. In the end, I opted for blank labels, available online (just google for blank keyboard labels). See the result. Don't know yet how durable they are...

    keyboard.jpg

    I've always tried to type without looking, but I always get off of the home row somehow. It's hard to do it when you try to think about it, it usually works better if you try not to think about it. Ya know?